The labour or working class of a country plays a crucial role in its development and all other aspects of nation-building. The class includes those engaged in manual labour occupations or industrial work who depend on waged or salaried contracts for their livelihoods.
Working-class occupations include blue-collar jobs (manufacturing, construction, maintenance, driving, trucking, farming, and all), and most pink-collar jobs, including nursing, social work, teaching, the beauty industry, child care, etc.
Also, the category can include almost all of the working population of industrialised economies as well as those employed in the urban areas of non-industrialised economies or in the rural workforce.
Whatever their occupations are, they are the core pillars of the development of a country. So to draw the attention of the people towards the contribution of labourers or workers in the development of a country and to mark their sacrifices, every year International Labour Day is celebrated around the globe.
It is also known as International Workers’ Day or May Day. It is celebrated with full fervour and enthusiasm around the globe.
International Labour Day History
The actual origin of Labour Day dates back to the time of heavy industrialization in the 19th century, a time period in which the labour class was exploited to a large extent with cruelty and was forced to work for up to 15–16 hours a day.
On May 1, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, USA, the labourers stood up for their rights and started a peaceful protest against their poor condition, suffering, and exploitation. In their strike, they were demanding an eight-hour workday.
On May 3, some policemen assaulted, beat, and injured the peaceful protestors; they also killed one of them. As a result, the very next day, the protest turned violent when an unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at Haymarket Square, which resulted in the deaths of several police officers and four civilians and injured many others. This whole incident is also called the Haymarket affair or Haymarket massacre.
After that, the proposals were made, and in the year 1889, May 1 was decided to be observed as International Workers’ Day or International Labour Day, and since then, it has been observed on May 1st in more than 80 countries of the world.
Labour Day in India
Although the day is pertaining to the uprising made by the USA labourers, various other countries have their own stories regarding the origin of Labour Day. However, the motive and idea behind observing the day are the same for all countries around the world: honouring and paying tribute to the working class.
In the USA and Canada, Labour Day is observed on the first Monday of the month of September. However, in India, people started observing the day on May 1, 1923, and this event was organised by the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan in Madras, in present-day Chennai, the capital of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu.
It was the first time the red flag symbolising Labour Day was used in India. The day is associated with labour moments for communist and socialist political parties; it is also known as Kamgar Diwas, Kamgar Din, Antarrashtriya Shramk Diwas, and Uzhaipalar Naal in different states of the country.
International Labour Day 2023 Significance
This day plays a very crucial role in recognising the hard work labourers put in at their workplaces. They always come up with new and innovative ideas for improving work efficiency and future developments. This day gives them an opportunity to appreciate and recognise their work as well as take steps and measurements for the betterment of their conditions.
It is observed that to recognise their skills, ideas, and experiences that they put into the development of society, their demands need to be listened to so that we as a society can play our respective roles in the development of our country as well as the rest of the world.
How to Celebrate International Labour Day 2023
This day is celebrated with full enthusiasm around the world and can be celebrated in many innovative ways. The people at large and society encourage labourers by organising events for them where they may be served to perform certain activities by themselves for fun, happiness, entertainment, learning, education, etc. Labour can rest on this day and spend time on their own, as in many countries across the world, May 1 is a public holiday.
International Labour Day 2023 Theme
International Labour Day, Workers’ Day, or May Day has a separate theme for each year: recognise the contribution of labourers and the working class to society and the economy.
If we talk about the theme of International Labour Day during COVID 2020, as it was the time when COVID-19 hit the world for the first time, the day had the theme “Maintaining safety and security at the workplace” to raise awareness regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
FAQs Related International Labour Day
Ans. International Labour Day is celebrated every year on May 1, 2023.
Ans. International Labour Day is celebrated to recognise the contributions and accomplishments of workers in our society.